Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023659, Tue, 12 Feb 2013 11:30:08 -0200

Lord Byron: and his lady.
Re: [NABOKV-L] Lord Byron's HockStan Kelly-Bootle. "I suspect VN may also be punning on the slang meaning of 'hock' = 'pawn.' Later your goods are REDEEMED = returned to you, by paying back the loan...[ ] There are fanciful ditties where the object being pawned is one's heart or dream. VN's 'Our Lady's Tears' falls into this category.

Jansy Mello: A friend of mine inquired about what "Our Lady of Tears" indicated. I offered him a few words from Brian Boyd's comment [ ..." the aura of snobbishness and hyperlucre that surrounds Baron Demon Veen and is reinforced here with the Lord Byron and Lady (even if she's of a different provenance..." ]* However, a lazy carnival Sunday and the news of a Papal resignation led me to the Virgin Mary and following this train of associations I first reached Lolita and next, Ada, where there are references to Swinburne's long "Our Lady of Pain," about a Dolores that's certainly unredeemed. (Cf. "Eros qui prend son essor! Arts that our marblery harbors: Eros, the rose and the sore,' I am ill at these numbers, but e'en rhymery is easier 'than confuting the past in mute prose.' Who wrote that? Voltimand or Voltemand? Or the Burning Swine? A pest on his anapest! 'All our old loves are corpses or wives.' All our sorrows are virgins or whores. " (ADA, p.288). . However, there were no explicit references to tears in JAS's verse, only to the sorrows of a priest's Virgin - so I fear that my connections went astray.**
Jorio Dauster, in his turn, searched about the wines, Lacryma Christi and Liebfrauenmilch, that might have been hidden behind Our Lady's Tears"*** . Our results were equally inconclusive. A few lines later (and I realize that Ada is referred to as a "half-Russian child") Demon exclaims: 'Vous me comblez,' said Demon in reference to the burgundy, 'though' pravda, my maternal grandfather would have left the table rather than see me drinking red wine instead of champagne with gelinotte."
Sometimes a Nabokov wine, cigar or wordplay is only a cigar or a wordplay...


*Checking on Lady Byron (wikipedia): Anne Isabella Noel Byron, 11th Baroness Wentworth and Baroness Byron (17 May 1792 - 16 May 1860) was the wife of the poet Lord Byron, and mother of Ada Lovelace, the patron and co-worker of mathematician Charles Babbage....

** Dolores, by Algernon Charles Swinburne (other comments are found in old VN-L postings)
(:excerpts from the first two verses and those that offer a direct link to Ada and to infertility).
"Cold eyelids that hide like a jewel
Hard eyes that grow soft for an hour;
What shall rest of thee then, what remain,
O mystic and sombre Dolores,
Our Lady of Pain?

Seven sorrows the priests give their Virgin;
But thy sins, which are seventy times seven,
Seven ages would fail thee to purge in,
And then they would haunt thee in heaven":
And those that are a direct link to ADA and to infertility:
"....Time turns the old days to derision,
Our loves into corpses or wives;
And marriage and death and division
Make barren our lives."

*** - (from Google sources): "The original German spelling of the word is Liebfrauenmilch, given to the wine produced from the vineyards of the Liebfrauenkirche or Church of Our Lady in the Rhineland-Palatinate city of Worms since the 18th century.[ ] Lacryma Christi's vines are grown on a piece of land that, as legend tells, was stolen by Satan from Paradise and made holy by the tears of Christ." (Satan/ Demon)

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